Those familiar with powerline network adapters might have noticed something strange about these things: they create a network through electrical lines but they accomplish nothing else.
One might argue that this is already enough, but then people could start wondering why the adapters don't supply energy straight to connected devices too.
As it happens, that functionality is defined independently as the Power over Ethernet standard, and Powerline adapter developers just never got around to integrating that functionality in their products.
This has now changed. Asoka Corporation has announced the PlugLink PoE-200, which can deliver up to 15.4 Watts of DC power for VoIP handsets (voice over IP), IP security cameras, etc.
"PoE is a great idea because it made it easier to deploy and connect non-computer IP devices, and with the PlugLink PoE-200 we're taking that to the next level of simplicity," said Danny Castellano, vice president of marketing for Asoka.
"The PlugLink eliminates the added costs and installation time, giving users high-speed data and power that takes just minutes to connect."
The PlugLink PoE-200 could become a convenient tool for small and medium businesses. It is just much simpler to use, not to mention less space-filling.
As one might have already guessed, to set up a working network only needs two of these adapters plugged into different sockets inside a building, apartment, etc.
In addition to ease of use, the Asoka's gadget can simplify networks and reduce the cost of installing a VoIP PBX (Private branch exchange), a sort of business telephone system, only isolated to a single network and delivered over the Internet. HDTV networks can use the item as well.
Finally, the adapter has 128-bit AES encryption. It isn't the best standard out there, but it should protect transmissions from most malicious activities.
Customers from the UK, US and Europe will be able to order the Asoka PlugLink PoE-200 soon, if online stores haven't already listed it. Sadly, the price isn't known.